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“Friends with benefits.  I dig it.”

The finale of the “Hard Travelling Hero” arc sees an end to the brief team up between Green Arrow and Green Lantern that had Lantern fans hyped.  Green Arrow #31 picks up with Hal adrift in space while Ollie is left to do all the dirty work by himself as he confronts the nameless antagonist high above Star City.

I admit I was really looking forward to this story and perhaps my nostalgia has prevented me from fully enjoying Benjamin Percy’s story, but in the end I felt like the effort suffered from all the tropes that make me hate having guest stars in a series.  With Hal conveniently knocked unconscious it’s up to Ollie to save the day, only to have Hal come back and have his ring conveniently out of juice.  It’s the convenience of forcing a series of events like this that seems like so much lazy writing that undermines the fun of seeing the characters sharing an adventure together.

Ollie and Hal, laughing in the face of death

It’s not all bad, though, and where Percy may not have done a good job with plot in my opinion he did do a good job with character.  Seeing Hal and Ollie falling back to Earth knowing that they are facing nearly certain death, and doing so by looking at each other and laughing was a great touch.  Likewise when Ollie is finally offered a chair at the Justice League table Hal does a big old facepalm just like you’d imagine he’d do.  It’s nice stuff and I hope that when we do see these guys team up in the future we get the same great chemistry that these two issues provided.  I’m left reminded how much I miss seeing Hal with the rest of Earth’s superhero community and I’m now really hungry to see him be a part of the Justice League again.

Art wise the book is okay, although Otto Schmidt’s work is really not a style that I gravitate towards.  It’s a little too loose for my liking but that’s just my preference more than a critical analysis.  It’s not bad, it’s not great, but it gets the job done.

Green Arrow #31 gives us more of the classic chemistry between Ollie Queen and Hal Jordan that fans have been asking for since the launch of the New 52.  Benjamin Percy delivers some quality character moments for both but the issue suffers from taking some lazy shortcuts in order to rush the plot in order to make room for the epilogue of the story.  Six out of ten lanterns.

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